Avoid Washington DC during election period?

Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 05:44 AM
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I like DC. Just planned a quick return visit yesterday. I love the Smithsonian museums but try to focus on just one each visit - because of overload. The next trip is a return for the National Portrait Gallery. I only spent a little over an hour on the last trip, to see the Obama portaits (wonderful!) but realized I needed to return to enjoy it as leisure. I love Kimptons and there's one across the street and several in the city. I loved staying at the W on a trip a few years ago, with the guest access to the rooftop deck. Fabulous views of the monuments lit up at night as well as the White House. If you are interested in musical parody, consider the Capitol Steps. Really enjoyed a house museum and garden on a previous visit too - Marjorie Post's Hillwood -
https://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/

The second hottest day of my life was a childhood visit in summer - but if you are used to heat and humidity, you should be fine. We visited on the coldest day of the year to see the White House decorated for Christmas on the Obama's last year in the White House.

For personal reasons, I really enjoyed the WWII, Korean and Vietnam Memorials as well as a visit to Arlington National Cemetery -
https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/

I've flown in for just a concert. If you like casual restaurants and chili - go to Ben's Chili Bowl.
https://benschilibowl.com/
We also really enjoy the Old Ebbit Grill, the oldest saloon in DC -
https://www.ebbitt.com/about/


The only impact the election will have on DC is on inauguration day. The city will be crowded and hotel prices will be sky high. Avoid that in January every 4 years and you'll be fine.

Last edited by starrs; Feb 22nd, 2020 at 05:55 AM.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 06:28 AM
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I think our nation's capital is HIGHLY underrated as a city to visit. As would be expected, there are things there that you CANNOT see anywhere else in the world. It is not to be missied for many reasons.
Summer is espcecially crowded so if you can come at another time, it would be good. The election will not have any real effect--except for one day in January--inauguration day.
OOPS echo to Starrs.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by KayF
Thanks everyone for the info, it's all useful.

To Bobmrg - DC is not high on my list but my husband spent days just in one museum (air and space) when he was much younger and is keen to return. It does mean he owes me

Kay
If your husband has fond memories of the Air & Space museum on the National Mall, then I hope he will be able to visit the Udvar-Hazy Center, the other Smithsonian A&S site that probably wasn't open during your DH's previous visit. It's a literal do not miss for anyone with an interest in aviation and space flight. And well worth a visit for those of us not so aviation/space inclined.

https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center

The U-H Center is an estimated $20-$25 USD cab or Uber fare from the closest DC metro station, Wiehle-Reston East. Absolutely worth it.


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Old Feb 22nd, 2020, 11:45 PM
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Now I'm getting worried - too many things to see and do! Just kidding. I've added the Udvar-Hazy Center to our list, my husband is really keen. Thanks for the tip, we'd never heard of it.

We love theatre so a musical parody sounds good. (Will be booking some theatre for New York too.) Also love grand stately homes....I can see our time allocated in DC is going to have to change

I've heard of chili that you have in America but don't really know what it is. We have chilli of course, I use dried chilli when cooking but I'm guessing it refers to a dish. Is it mince beef and red beans with chilli in it?

Kay
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Old Feb 23rd, 2020, 03:16 AM
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The other museum that might not have been there when the poster above was there is the spy museum. The OP deosnt' seem to have children aboard but our grandson LOVED it of course.
And the zoo, because of gifts from rulers around the world has a very unique collection.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2020, 04:51 AM
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Is it mince beef and red beans with chilli in it?
Yes it is a dish and that's one way of making it. FWIW, I've eaten at Ben's Chili Bowl, and while it is iconic, I don't think the food is very good.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2020, 08:25 AM
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One dining option you might want to consider is the Mitsitam in the National Museum of the American Indian -- it features ingredients that were originally from the Americas.
Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe Menu & Hours
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 04:02 AM
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I'll second the suggestion for the Mitsitam Cafe. When we landed in D.C. last summer (after being posted overseas), DD and I planned an outing specifically to include lunch there. The menu prices are a bit higher than the cafes at other Smithsonians, but the variety and quality of the meals is worth the extra cost.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 07:28 AM
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Probably also worth noting that the National Museum of the American Indian is immediately adjacent to the Air & Space Museum.

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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 07:53 AM
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For some reason kja's link wouldn't work for me. Is this better? (a test really)

https://americanindian.si.edu/visit/.../mitsitam-cafe

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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 08:03 AM
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The first link works for me and includes Mitsitam's menu. The second link works too, no menu.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
For some reason kja's link wouldn't work for me. Is this better?
Thanks, janisj! At this point, I'm reasonably sure that KayF has me on her "ignore" list (she has responded to most others who commented on this thread, but hasn't acknowledged any of my input), so I'm glad she'll see at least one link to the mitsitam.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:09 PM
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kja - I've read all posts and appreciate everyone's input. I'm not ignoring anyone.

Kay
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:18 PM
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I'm glad to know that you've been reading my suggestions, KayF!

DC is a great city -- I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

BTW, since you expressed interest in local cuisine, DC doesn't really have it's own special foods, but the region is known for Maryland crab. If I had a good place to recommend, I'd offer it -- maybe someone else will identify a worthy option!?

DC also has an extraordinarily diverse range of international cuisines, so it's a great place to experiment with foods from around the world.
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Old Feb 24th, 2020, 07:07 PM
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Capitol Steps -
The Capitol Steps - We put the MOCK in Democracy

TA's listing of Ben's Chili Bowl
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...er=7&autoplay=

Last edited by starrs; Feb 24th, 2020 at 07:16 PM.
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Old Feb 25th, 2020, 03:28 AM
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OOOOH, Capitol Steps. SO good!!
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Old Feb 26th, 2020, 06:33 AM
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visions of political rallies
That's other countries, like France, that do political rallies. Americans rarely do non-sport rallies: they suck it up in private, no matter how outrageous the political behavior.

Been to DC too many times to remember, at least 20. It can be chilly in January (daytime highs just below freezing) but there isn't really a winter season in DC, just an extended autumn that flows into an early spring, with an occasional dump of snow in December or January, although proximity to sources of ocean moisture means that the snowfalls can (rarely) be very substantial. I was there Christmas week 2019 and I didn't ever wear a jacket.

I have experienced beautiful DC summer weather, third weekend of June 2019 was fabulous, it was 72 F/22 C and dry air, and once in August I had a similarly "cool" day. But normally end of May to early September it is just like Darwin or Manila, same heat and humidity, except in the tropics the nights are longer so it cools down more overnight (so DC summer heat is actually worse than the tropics). I'd quibble a bit on those linked tables about the mornings in DC being comfortable in the summer. The temp may be 75 F/24 C at 7 AM but the humidity hovers in the 95% range overnight. That's in some ways worse than early afternoon when the temp may be 92 F/33 C but the humidity has fallen to 70%. So basically miserable round the clock trying to walk around, so pushing your DC visit to October if possible is what I am recommending.

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Old Feb 26th, 2020, 07:19 AM
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KayF - I've not seen anyone suggest the following things that most impressed me in DC last September, so here goes:

My favourite activity was the tour of Congress that I pre-booked on line before I travelled. A fascinating hour or so with a really interesting guide [ours was a Brit who was very amusing] and in September apparently there are far fewer tourists visiting Congress than in most of the rest of the year so it wasn't very crowded. [and I got to take a photo of Nancy Pelosi's room]. After I had some lunch in the basement, I took the underground passage to the Library of Congress which was also fascinating with some gorgeous exhibits.

I also really enjoyed the Museum of American history, especially the re-enactment of a lunch counter protest with us, the visitors, playing the roles of the protestors and counter-protestors along with a musical commentary by the presenter. I'm still a little mystified as to why this wasn't in the Museum of Afro-American history but it was there that I had another interesting encounter, this time with another visitor, a young black girl who said to her friend, as they got out of the lift I was in "why do we have to have a different building for our history, it's all the same history", with which I found it hard to disagree.

I was also lucky enough to go to the Phillips collection with kja, with supper afterwards at La Tomate which was very good and a lot of fun. [and too short!]

And finally I much enjoyed the Botanical gardens, both inside and out.

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Old Feb 26th, 2020, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig
I was also lucky enough to go to the Phillips collection with kja, with supper afterwards at La Tomate which was very good and a lot of fun. [and too short!]
I thoroughly enjoyed our visit, too, annhig, and agree that it was too short.
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Old Feb 26th, 2020, 05:19 PM
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Thanks everyone, for all the varied suggestions. It seems there is a lot more to do and see than I first thought. I've added to my list!

My sister sent me a link to a very funny, but quite sobering, song called The Day Democracy Died by the Founding Fathers. I thought it might be from Capitol Steps (being a satire/parody) but couldn't find any reference to it online. I'm not sure how much Capital Steps would appeal to non-Americans?

I really don't know what to do about the weather issue. We'll need to decide at some point so we can book.

Kay
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